1(J4 B. POLEVOI passionately, always at the scene of the "crime"—he invariably insisted that the clinic must continue to func- tion as a model institution ^ even in alert, blacked-out, war-time Moscow, that this was their retort to those Hitlers and Goerings; he refused to listen to any excuses on the grounds of war-time difficulties and said that slackers and idlers could get to heH out of here, and that precisely now, when things were difficult, there must be especially strict order in the place. He himself continued to make his rounds with such punctuality that the ward maids, as before, set the ward clocks by his appearance. Even air raids did not disturb the punctuality of this man. It was this that stimulated the staff to perform miracles and maintain pre-war order in the clinic under incredible difficulties. During one of his morning rounds the chief, we will call him Vasily Vasilyevich, came upon two beds stand- ing side by side on the staircase landing on the second floor. "What's this exhibition?" he barked and shot such a fierce glance from under his shaggy eyebrows at the house surgeon that the latter, a tall, round-shouldered person, no longer young, of impressive appearance, stood to at- tention like a schoolboy and said: "Arrived only last night___Airmen. This one has a fractured thigh and right arm. Condition normal. But that one"—he pointed to a gaunt figure of indefinite age lying motionless with eyes closed—"is a severe case. Compound fracture of the insteps, gangrene in both feet, but chiefly, extreme exhaustion. I don't believe it, of course, but the medical officer, who accompanied them here, reports that the patient with fractured feet had crawled for eighteen days behind the German lines. This, of course, is an exaggeration...." Not listening to the house surgeon, Vasily Vasilyevich lifted the blanket. Alexei Meresyev was lying with his arms crossed on his chest. From these dark-skinned arms, which stood out distinctly against the background of the fresh white shirt and sheets, one could study the bone structure of man. The professor gently replaced the blanket and, interrupting the house surgeon, growled; "Why are they lying here?"